More live broadcasts in Channel Nine deal

The deal could negatively affect NRL attendance figures, the worst this year since 2004. Picture: GETTY IMAGES.RUGBY LEAGUE
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Chief executive Dave Smith has welcomed the NRL’s $925 million broadcast deal with Channel Nine as a win for fans and player welfare but admits rugby league has a significant challenge to arrest a decline in crowds.

The NRL announced on Monday that Nine had secured the rights to broadcast the NRL from 2018 to 2022.

The network will screen matches four days a week, twice as many as now available on free-to-air TV.

Matches will be screened during prime time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on Sundays at 4pm.

“For our fans, I want to make sure this is all about the fans, this is a huge step forward,” Smith said.

“The point about free-to-air is that more and more of our fans are going to have access to the game in whatever shape and form it is.”

However, more live games could further adversely affect the NRL’s attendance figures, which are down 6 per cent this year and are the worst since 2004.

Smith said a more accessible product would help to grow the game further but it also means the game’s governing body and its clubs would have to work harder to lure fans to the games.

“This game is wonderful to watch on TV, it always has been and it always will be, so in a way we are competing with ourselves at a certain level,” Smith said.

“It is a constant tension, and I think it is partly solved by having a strong game-day proposition.

“[Having] us in control of the schedule and the draw … also getting decent stadium infrastructure across all parts of the game and right now we haven’t got that.”

The NRL has regained control of the playing schedule from the long-time rugby league broadcaster, which means that they can decide when and where games are played.

Smith said the NRL had identified 85 premium games such as local derbies to help give clubs equal exposure and to make the schedule more crowd friendly.

Under the new schedule, State of Origin II will be played on a Sunday night during a stand-alone representative weekend and international football, including the trans-Tasman Test, will be played at the end of the NRL season.

Monday night football will be axed and the premiership will be reduced one round from the current 26.

Player welfare has been improved under the new schedule, Smith said, and five-day turnarounds between rounds will be axed.

The Rugby League Players’ Association said the new deal had taken important steps in reducing player burnout. – AAP

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Mumm’s the word as Wallabies’ star rises

Wallabies lock Dean Mumm, mid-picture, celebrates Australia’s win over the All Blacks on Saturday. Picture: GETTY IMAGESRUGBY UNION
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Returning to Australia on a wing and a prayer, Wallabies lock Dean Mumm is set to continue his remarkable resurgence by stepping into New Zealand rugby’s hottest cauldron.

Mumm played 33 Tests between 2008 and 2010 but looked unlikely to add to that tally after going to English club Exeter in 2012.

After three years there, Mumm signed for his old Super Rugby side NSW Waratahs for 2016, but linked up with them in June and played in their last three rounds.

Waratahs and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika initially dismissed any suggestion Mumm could be a contender for a World Cup berth but then chose the lock in his Rugby Championship squad.

Mumm played his first Test in almost five years last month, coming off the bench to score a try against Argentina, and then he started against New Zealand.

Mumm says he could not have imagined such a scenario even three months ago.

“I was coming back on a little bit of a wing and a prayer. I hadn’t spoken to Cheik,” he said.

Mumm tasted defeat in his first seven encounters with the All Blacks but has savoured victory in his last two, albeit almost five years apart.

New Zealand-born Mumm, whose family migrated to Australia when he was around 18 months old, knows the Wallabies face an enormous task to win at Eden Park, the spiritual home of the All Blacks.

“We’re expecting a pretty full-on Kiwi response, I’d say, at Eden Park in front of a crowd that is extremely patriotic in a place that they absolutely love playing.

“They are the best team in the world because they are very very consistent, and they are going home to their favourite ground to play.

“It’s a very big challenge for us but one we’re very much looking forward to.”

Mumm acknowledged the Wallabies had some work to do on their lineouts, after the All Blacks snaffled a number of their throws last weekend.

That Test was the first since November 2009 against Wales, when Mumm started in the second row alongside his Australian under-21 colleague James Horwill.

Meanwhile, fringe Wallabies squad members Christian Lealiifano and Sean McMahon have been released from Australia’s Bledisloe Cup training camp to play for a World XV against Japan in Tokyo, joining recent Wallabies squad members Nick Cummins and Taqele Naiyaravoro among 14 Australian internationals.

Cheika has recalled Queensland Reds centre Samu Kerevi and NSW Waratahs captain Dave Dennis into his squad for the weekend. – AAP

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Import Ruef a key weapon for Hoppers

Ulverstone’s Mikaela Ruef in action earlier this season. Picture: Stuart Wilson.
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SHE has hardly trained with her team all year and hasn’t even seen them this week, but that won’t stop Mikaela Ruef from being the key factor in tonight’s NWBU women’s grand final.

The Ulverstone import has been the competition’s dominant centre since suiting up for the team in round seven, averaging 22.13 points and an enormous 20.33 rebounds per game.

Such has been her influence, the Hoppers have only lost once in the 15 games she has played, and enter tonight’s showdown against Devonport on the back of a 10-game winning streak.

Despite a 21-point, 27-rebound effort against the Warriors in an emphatic semi-final win two weeks ago, Ruef said she wasn’t being weighed down by any expectations to produce a similar game tonight.

“I just try to go out every game and give what I can to help my team win the game,” the 24-year-old from Ohio said.

“There probably are expectations, but I don’t feel the pressure to play well and try my best.

“I’m definitely excited, but I’m not too nervous and I think it will be a good game.

“We played Devonport a few weeks ago and are pretty familiar with them.”

Ruef travelled to Tasmania to play with the Launceston Tornadoes in the SEABL, and wasn’t aware that she would be lining up with the Hoppers until after she arrived. But such is her talent and professionalism, the transition to the NWBU has been seamless.

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Dad asks MPs for holiday travel cash

Holiday destination Uluru. Donate to Stephen Callaghan’s holiday fundhere
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A FATHER of three has set up a crowd-funding campaign hoping federal politicians will help fund his family holiday to Uluru.

Stephen Callaghan, of Blue Haven, decided to make the invitation to MPs after being outraged to learn some fly their children around the country on the taxpayer.

‘‘I think it was always in the back of our mind that the politicians were abusing the system by scheduling these iffy appointments just so they could go to the footy, but I had no idea they were carting around their family at our expense,’’ he said on Monday.

The page began with this post:

“Dear Federal MP’s … It has come to my attention that many of you have been using tax payers’ money to fly your children around on various holidays, fireworks visits, excursion and overseas vacations.

I would appreciate it greatly if you were able to donate to my Go Fund Me campaign so MY kids can go on a holiday too.

This isn’t designed to beg for donationsfrom everyday Australians…. they have already paid too much for YOUR kids…. but I find that Australian people are generally amazingly generous and fair minded. I can guarantee I will get more from Aussie Workers than I will from Politicians on $200k (plus entitlments)… all I ask is that, in the words of our great Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, my children get a “fair go.”

Please consider being a Lifter (not a Leaner) and lifting my kids aboard a plane or a train (or even a crusie ship if you give generously) by sharing the perks YOU get with 3 ordinary Australian kiddies.

By last night, the page had more than $4249 pledged and was updated with the following information:

“Thank you for the donations and more importantly the beautiful words of support.

‘I thought you should know the following donations from Federal MPs…

Joe Hockey – ZERO DOLLARS

Tony Burke – HAVEN’T HEARD A PEEP

Christopher Pyne – BUGGER ALL

Bronwyn Bishop – NOT A SAUSAGE

Tony Abbott – THREE FIFTHS OF NAFF ALL

Every other Federal MP… Labor, Liberal, Greens & Independents – ZILCH.

“This campaign has exceeded my expectations for one very simple reason.

I didn’t really have any expectations.

It angered me that our politicians just take for granted and treat so casually the things that you and I have to work for. My kids have never even been on a plane, let alone Business Class. But then getting others to pay for my family holiday wasn’t my main motivation either.

I wanted to shame our Politicians. To make them aware that we think their squandering of our hard earned money has gone on long enough. It has to stop.

Is this achieving that? I don’t know for sure but I do know this campaign has been getting plenty of publicity. ABC Radio & TV, SBS TV. Radio New Zealand, the BBC, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail. The Today Show. And the donations from ordinary people have been humbling. There is a common theme… you are angry and disgusted too.

But one thing has not happened. Not one word of acknowledgment, not one donation, from a Federal Politician. This to me just highlights the arrogance and contempt with which they hold us all.

What will happen to the money? I am naturally getting some blowback. People angry that I am taking money so I can have a nice holiday. Envy or anger maybe that they didn’t think of it first.

Well we had planned a holiday. A driving holiday to Uluru. Staying in caravan parks in our camper trailer. Doing it as cheaply as we could. And we still will. The money will go towards some new tyres for our car… it is after all a 6,900 klm round trip…maybe some fuel… maybe a treat for the kids and one night in a hotel for us all.

We will however be making a substantial donation on your behalf to a charity called Stewart House… they provide holidays free of care to kids who are doing it tough at home. More info can be found here stewarthouse.org419论坛

I will post here the full details of the amount given when this campaign is done. I will give our Pollies a few more days… just in case they really want to help me out 🙂

Thank you again to those who have donated and for the heartwarming comments. If nothing else has been achieved you have shown my kids what bloody wonderful people there are in the world.”

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Company keeps up generous tradition

Founder’s day: Commemorating the birthday of the parent company’s founder, Wollongong Coal chief executive Milind Oza, centre, hands gifts of cash, books and grocery vouchers to Sarah Wilson, manager of Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre.Picture: ADAM McLEANThe man who started Jindal Steel spent a lot of time working to alleviate poverty and boost the poorer sections of Indian society.
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“Where others saw walls, he saw doors” – that is how he is fondly remembered in his homeland.

So to honour its parent company founder Shri Op Jindal, Wollongong Coal is donating to worthy causes.

Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre stands to benefit thanks to the company’s gifts of $2000 cash, $500 in grocery vouchers and $600 worth of children’s books.

“The donation was to mark Founder’s Day, which is celebrated by our parent company in India, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd,” a Wollongong Coal spokesman said.

“The seventh of August is the late founding chairman’s birthday and the company celebrates it by donating to worthy causes.”

Mr Jindal was a visionary, remembered for his business excellence and social responsibilities alike. He believed that without uplifting weak sections of society, a nation could never prosper.

Wollongong Coal chief executive Milind Oza did the honours and handed over the gifts on Friday.

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Harbour Apartments construction restarts

The Harbour Apartments construction site in May. Picture: ADAM McLEANWork has resumed on the Harbour Apartments construction site opposite WIN Stadium and developer Kollco Holdings believes it will be full steam ahead within weeks.
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Workers downed tools on May 1 when the contract with Camarda & Cantrill was terminated because the builder could not meet its contract obligations.

Kollco has since been working closely with unions representing disgruntled contractors owed more than $1.2 million and new builder Advanced Constructions to get the project back on track.

Chief operating officer of Kollaras Property Holdings, John Kollaras, told the Mercury there were workers on site this week, mainly meeting WorkCover and occupational health and safety obligations, before full-scale construction recommences.

Mr Kollaras said he had been involved in productive discussions with the CFMEU, and some of the subcontractors who had previously been working on the site were returning.

Those conversations were continuing, he said.

Subcontractors were left in the lurch when Camarda & Cantrill bailed out of the Harbour Apartments project, on the corner of Burelli and Harbour streets.

The Illawarra company was placed in the hands of liquidators owing more than $4 million.

Kollco Holdings Pty Ltd said it was in the process of “quantifying the amount of loss” it was owed due to the “abandonment” of the contract.

Its website says the high-rise will offer single level two and three-bedroom apartments with outdoor living and spacious balconies, and feature “cosmopolitan style” with coastal views.

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Find yourself feeling crappy? Try these five things

Georgia van Tiel and Carla McMillan of Bodypass get their happy on. Photo: Robert Saponja.We all go through times in our lives when life doesn’t go the way we expected.
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Things happen thatthrow us in the deep end and we find ourselves in situations we can’t actually change but that make us feel … crappy.

Perhaps this has to do with work. Or maybe you have a few days in a row where you had big plans and you get sick so you’re forced to take time off. Maybe you budgeted for something that’s become more expensive and you have to put some things on the back-burner.

These are all situations that are out of our control, yet they can send even the happiest people around the bend and bring on negative emotions.

If the situation itself can’t be controlled, then why do we feel crappy about it?

It’s the way that your mind reacts to it – or rather – the way your subconscious thought pattern ‘tells’ you to react. With exasperation, frustration, anger or hopelessness.

If you can become more conscious, then you can change the way you relate to a situation and that will change the outcome of something you would have perceived as negative to something that beings welcome surrender, feels calm or simply ‘meant to be’. It is what it is.

When we are overcome by our attachment to an idea we have in our minds about what things are supposed to be like, we spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or living with the future in mind and this does little for our state of fulfillment in the now.

“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.”

How though, do we change the way we see things in our minds to make the days we live happier? Here’s fiveeasy ways.

1. Recognise the emotion.

Instead of sinking into the pits of ‘should have, could have, would have’… be conscious of what it is you’re feeling. Is it despair, anger, frustration or loneliness? The emotion is there for a reason, even if it is created by the mind.

Give it a little room to be … feel it. We rarely, if ever, give our emotions a place to be recognised before we push them down and pretend they don’t exist. How many times has someone asked you what was wrong, only for you to say ‘nothing’, even though there are 15 things getting you down. Own the emotion and it is much easier to send that baby flying away.

2. Make a conscious decision to wave goodbye to that emotion, it’s fleeting.

Only you can make the decision to wallow in it – the emotion itself doesn’t make the choice to stay, you have the responsibility of control over it.

Picture a baby who cries for an instant over a toy being snatched away. Is that baby still upset about it an hour later? No. A baby probably isn’t too fazed about losing the toy even three minutes later. We forget to live in the moment like a child does and this is something we’d be much better off doing.

3. Talk yourself through it.

With pushing our emotions under the rug comes a constant habit of deafening our ears to our own voice. Many people today who’re dwelling in the past or existing only thinking about the future don’t have a good relationship with themselves. An excellent way of dealing with set-backs is to have a quick reality ‘check-in’ with yourself.

Phrases like “will my worrying change the future?”, “everything will work out as it needs to”, “What is this lesson here to teach me?” or “things are as they should be” will help you to relax and surrender in crappy situations.

4. Become comfortable with uncertainty.

As adults we hold onto negative emotions as if they will comfort us, and then many of us feel secure or safe feeling crappy because we’ve identified with that feeling for so long. It’s time to give yourself permission to be okay with uncertainty. The better you can respond to uncertainty in life the more opportunity you have to feel fulfilled because guess what? Life is never certain and we simply can’t control everything.

5. Breathe.

How many times in our lives do things happen out of our control and we go from whoa to CRAZY in .2 seconds flat? Unleashing fury and vitriol or helpless anxiety reaction over ourselves or anybody around us. And the one thing we forgot to do is breathe. Giving ourselves a small pocket of breath allows us to calm any instant negative reaction and follow the steps above.

An excellent breathing technique that calms nerves and reduces physical and emotional pain is the following. Try it today in a moment of stress or anxiety.

A slow count of four while breathing in, then count of four holding the breath. Then a slow count of four breathing out out and hold the breath out for four seconds and repeat.

What’s left?

A calmer, happier person who can roll with the ebbs and flows of life with peace, purpose and a strong belief that they are right where they should be.

JoinBodypassfor a variety of wellness classes to help you bounce back.​Alice Nichollsis a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Life Transformation Coach.

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Hoverboard charging stations? Library vision sought

Next generation: Acting Wollongong lord mayor Chris Connor with Thirroul toddler Tom Giles at the Thirroul Library. Picture: ROBERT PEETWollongong’s future libraries could have hoverboard charging stations, no physical buildings or just a lot of good old-fashioned reading nooks, according to the city’s acting lord mayor Chris Connor.
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Wollongong City Council, which is preparing to change its book services over the next seven years, wants residents to dream up their ideal public library.

On Monday, the organisation launched its Beyond Books strategy, and has called for public comment before staff begin developing the future library plan.

“As part of our work on this strategy, we’re looking at a range of questions including whether there are even physical buildings housing libraries in the future,” Cr Connor said.

“Or do we have more but smaller branch libraries? These are really interesting concepts and we want to hear what the community thinks our libraries should be like in 2022.”

As part of the consultation, residents are asked to imagine walking into a library in 2022 and to respond through the council’s website on why they’re there, who they’re with, where the library is and what activities/services the council should provide.

The council is also asking people to gather with friends or in book clubs to talk through the same questions and reply to the council by the end of the month.

Later in the year, library workers will hold stalls at Dapto Street Fair and Spring into Corrimal and will host a series of community workshops to develop a draft library strategy.

This will go on exhibition early next year, the council said.

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Chance to treasure other people’s trash

It’s a fun and social way to make money, meet your neighbours and help the environment.
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And this year, the Garage Sale Trail will be massive, with more than 400,000 Australians expected to hit the streets on Saturday, October 24, to snap up a bargain and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Founded in 2010 by Andrew Valder and Darryl Nichols, the not-for-profit award-winning sustainability and community program is now backed by more than 150 councils.

It’s free to get involved.

Registration is now open to households, community groups, schools, businesses and makers/creators – anyone who is up for a day of fun.

Sellers hosting garage sales can put their “sale on the trail” and list key items, while shoppers can plan their day by searching what sales are in their neighbourhood and create a personalised “treasure trail”.

“In 2014, there were 2.9 million pre-loved items from over 8000 garage sales,” Mr Nichols said.

“Up for sale was everything from a rocket-powered jetpack, a beachside apartment and a couple of grandpas looking for a good home.

“The average seller made over $300 and met 13 new locals on the day.”

This year, the number of garage sales is expected to top 10,000.

There will be plenty of bargains to be had but the Garage Sale Trail is about much more.

“The simple act of having a garage sale is a way to encourage re-use and place a value on the world’s resources,” Mr Valder said.

Sellers who register at garagesaletrail南京夜网419论坛 before September 25 will receive a free promotional pack.

Fairfax Media is a media partner of Garage Sale Trail 2015.

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Warning amphetamine use impacting on families

Commissioner Darren HineSOME drivers involved in fatal or serious road accidents are testing positive for amphetamines, prompting police to warn of the drugs’ impact on Tasmanian families.
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Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine warned state MPs of the drugs’ influence in road fatalities and family violence during budget estimates hearings last month.

About 16 per cent of people killed or seriously injured in road crashes after which blood samples were taken tested positive for the drugs speed or ice between July, 2014 and March this year, he said.

In 45 per cent of positive drug tests, the drivers had used speed or ice, Commissioner Hine said.

Drugs affected offenders in about 203 or 10 per cent of family violence cases between July, 2014 and March this year, MPs heard.

“[Ice] will destroy lives and families. That is the message we need to give our young people,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams told MPs that of 403 serious drug charges police made, they charged 145 offenders in relation to amphetamines.

Of all drug charges, 33 per cent were in relation to ice, Commissioner Hine said.

Rural Health Tasmania chief executive officer Rob Waterman said the flow-on effects of amphetamines in road safety and family violence were not discussed enough.

“That’s quite concerning there’s people on our roads now with methamphetamine in their system,” he said.

“I think police are doing a phenomenal job, they’re trying their hardest, but they’ve said they can’t [arrest] their way out of this.”

He said the figures showed the need for early intervention and prevention programs, which he estimated would cost $1.2 million to implement state wide.

“Methamphetamine ice use is taking this country by storm. It’s happening very quickly.”

Women’s Legal Service Tasmania chief executive officer Susan Fahey said amphetamines exacerbated family violence and could lead to deaths in those cases.

Police seizures of amphetamines in Tasmania increased 90 per cent in 2013-2014.

Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said the targeting of serious drug offenders last year was reflected in the number of charges for serious drug offences and the increase in the amount of drugs seized during the period reported in budget estimates.

People who drove while under the influence of drugs continued to be a concern for police and one of the focuses of the force’s intelligence-led road safety strategies, he said.

“We use a targeted approach to oral fluid testing and have significantly increased the number of OFTs we undertake.

“This targeted approach results in a high number of positive results from the tests. Note that these figures do not reflect illicit drug use in the general driver population.”

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the figures supported the state government’s view that there was a serious problem to confront.

The government allocated an additional $4.8 million in the recent state budget to tackle the problem of ice and other drugs in Tasmania, he said.

“There has also been collaboration among the police, [departments of] health, justice and the community sector in addressing this issue.”

This spending would fund 11 recommendations of last year’s report into the North-West’s ice use, Mr Ferguson said.

The funding included 12 new residential rehabilitation beds with a priority in the North-West, he said.

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